News Archive


CUMBERLAND, Ky. Two of Harlan Countys biggest festivals are joining forces at the end of this month in one location.

The 52nd annual Kingdom Come Swappin Meetin and the 12th annual Kentucky Black Bear Festival will be held on Friday, September 30th and Saturday, October 1st on the Cumberland campus of Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College (SKCTC).

The decision was made this year to combine the two in order to give people in the Tri-Cities a bigger and better event for everyone to enjoy.

The festivals kick off on Thursday night with the annual Swappin Meetin Glow Run 5K at 7 p.m. and the Black Bear Festival carnival. Registration for the Glow Run begins at 6 p.m.

The fun continues on Friday and Saturday with a long list of events including the annual contests in quilt making, baked goods, horseshoes, pickles, jams and jellies, checkers, cake walk, art contest and the Tri-City News Photography Contest. Kids and adults alike will be able to learn about science,technology, engineering, arts and math at the STEAM booths, set up on the porch of Falkenstine Hall.

There will also be food booths and live crafting demonstrations and lots of live music both days. The carnival will also be open throughout the festivals.

The live performances will be held in the Black Box Theater in the Godbey Appalachian Center and under the Black Bear concert tent in the lower parking lot. The annual Gospel Sing, featuring the group Driven, will be in the theater on Friday night at 6:30 p.m. A performance of the latest production in the Higher Ground series is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, followed by a concert by the Kudzu Killers. Both Saturday night events will also be in the theater.

You can find out more about the events as they are posted on both the Kingdom Come Swappin Meetin website at and on the Kentucky Black Bear website at

You can also find them on Facebook under Kingdom Come Swappin Meetin and Kentucky Black Bear Festival.

Both festivals are also still accepting applications for vendors. For more information, you can contact Michael Corriston at 606-589-3137 or Tracy Bailey or Suzanne Williams at 606-589-5812